The Sixers fined Ben Simmons — again — for failing to attend their 6-game West Coast road trip
In game checks alone, Simmons could be fined $2.16 million if he misses all six games.
SALT LAKE CITY — Guess who’s being fined again.
Perhaps as no surprise, the 76ers have fined Ben Simmons for not accompanying the team on their six-game road trip, a source confirmed.
The road trip began with Saturday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers. The Sixers’ next game is Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz. Afterward, they’ll have the Denver Nuggets (Thursday), the Portland Trail Blazers (Saturday), the Sacramento Kings (Nov. 22) and Golden State Warriors (Nov. 24).
Sixers coach Doc Rivers said before Tuesday’s shootaround he was unaware that Simmons was being fined for missing the road trip. Rivers added that he no longer gets involved with the Simmons Saga.
“I got involved early on, because I had to,” Rivers said. “But now, I didn’t know that. I don’t know when we are fining him.”
In game checks alone, Simmons could be fined $2.16 million if he misses the six games. That doesn’t include the fines he may receive for missing practices and meetings.
“My focus is on Utah, that’s it,” Rivers said. “Not on Ben, but I want it to work out for Ben. But I can’t focus on that. That’s the front office’s job.”
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The disgruntled point guard has said that he’s mentally not ready to play. He believes the Sixers are trying to force him back on the court despite his mental-health concerns. However, the team expects him to prepare for a return to the court unless they get information from mental-health experts that he is otherwise unable to do so.
Back in August, Simmons told the Sixers that he wanted to be traded and wouldn’t attend training camp. The team countered by fining him for missing preseason games, meetings, and practices.
Upon his return, he was kicked out of practice on Oct. 19 because he was not engaging in practice. He was then suspended for the next day’s season opener at the New Orleans Pelicans. On Oct. 21, Simmons complained of back tightness ahead of a scheduled individual workout at the team’s practice facility in Camden. Even after being treated and cleared to work out, he left the practice facility without participating in drills.
That evening, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said the Simmons saga “could take four years” to resolve on The Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic. Morey was referring to Simmons having four years remaining on his contract. He stated the Sixers have no intentions of trading Simmons unless they get a difference-maker in return.
The next day is when Simmons informed the Sixers he was not mentally ready to play. As a result, they had to stop fining him due to a provision in the NBA collective bargaining agreement that protects players’ salaries for not rendering services if it is because of a mental-health reason.
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But the Sixers fined Simmons a game check of $360,000 for failure to play in the Nov. 4 game against the Detroit Pistons and refusal to accept the team’s assistance to address his mental readiness to play. The next day, he met with the Sixers’ recommended specialist to discuss his mental state.
Simmons attended the team’s pregame video session on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center, but didn’t remain to watch his teammates play.
That night, his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, told The Athletic on Thursday that the team’s recent actions have worsened Simmons’ mental illness. Paul said the team wants to consider Simmons mentally ready to play regardless of what he tells the team’s mental-health therapist.